A Hong Kong uni­ver­sity stu­dent who fell off a park­ing garage af­ter po­lice fired tear gas dur­ing clashes with anti-govern­ment pro­test­ers died Fri­day, in a rare fa­tal­ity af­ter five months of un­rest that is ex­pected to in­ten­sify anger in the semi-au­ton­o­mous

The Korea Times - - FRONT PAGE -

HONG KONG (AP) — A Hong Kong uni­ver­sity stu­dent who fell off a park­ing garage af­ter po­lice fired tear gas dur­ing clashes with anti-govern­ment pro­test­ers died Fri­day, in a rare fa­tal­ity af­ter five months of un­rest that is ex­pected to in­ten­sify anger in the semi-au­ton­o­mous Chi­nese ter­ri­tory.

A hospi­tal of­fi­cial, iden­ti­fied only as Chow, said the 22-year-old died Fri­day morn­ing, but couldn’t give fur­ther de­tails.

Although the cause of his fall has not been de­ter­mined, his death is bound to deepen anger among youths against po­lice, who have been ac­cused of heavy-handed tac­tics since protests de­mand­ing demo­cratic re­forms started in June.

Lo­cal me­dia re­ported that Chow Tsz-Lok has been in a coma with brain in­jury since he was found early Mon­day sprawled in a pool of blood on the sec­ond floor of the build­ing. Po­lice be­lieved he plunged from an up­per floor but it wasn’t cap­tured by se­cu­rity cam­eras.

Min­utes ear­lier, tele­vi­sion footage showed riot po­lice fir­ing tear gas at the build­ing af­ter ob­jects were hurled down at the of­fi­cers in the street when they chased off a mob. Po­lice didn’t rule out the pos­si­bil­ity he was flee­ing from tear gas but noted of­fi­cials fired from a dis­tance. Po­lice also de­nied claims that of­fi­cials pushed the vic­tim down and had de­layed emer­gency ser­vices.

There have been only few fa­tal­i­ties amid the un­rest, with pre­vi­ous re­ports of deaths by sui­cide and a man who fell to his death while hang­ing pro-democ­racy ban­ners on a build­ing.

At the Uni­ver­sity of Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy, Chow’s col­leagues staged ral­lies this week and on

Thurs­day dis­rupted a grad­u­a­tion cer­e­mony. The uni­ver­sity pres­i­dent dabbed away tears as he an­nounced Chow’s death Fri­day on the sec­ond day of the con­vo­ca­tion, with the au­di­ence stand­ing to ob­serve a moment of si­lence.

Calls emerged on­line for me­mo­rial events Fri­day to mourn Chow in mul­ti­ple lo­ca­tions in­clud­ing at the garage in the sub­urb where he fell.

The protests were sparked by a now-shelved ex­tra­di­tion bill to main­land China that many sees as Bei­jing’s creep­ing in­ter­fer­ence on le­gal and other rights guar­an­teed to Hong Kong when the for­mer Bri­tish colony re­turned un­der Chi­nese rule in 1997.

The move­ment has since ex­panded to in­clude other de­mands, in­clud­ing di­rect elec­tions for the city’s lead­ers and an in­de­pen­dent in­ves­ti­ga­tion into al­leged po­lice bru­tal­ity.

AP-Yon­hap

A pro­tester holds a photo of Chow Tsz-Lok dur­ing a me­mo­rial flash mob to re­mem­ber him in Hong Kong, Fri­day. Chow, a Hong Kong uni­ver­sity stu­dent who fell off a park­ing garage af­ter po­lice fired tear gas dur­ing clashes with anti-govern­ment pro­test­ers died Fri­day, in a rare fa­tal­ity af­ter five months of un­rest that in­ten­si­fied anger in the semi-au­ton­o­mous Chi­nese ter­ri­tory.

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